Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Climate Change
Dorine Reed Bower - University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
In 2007, an intergovernmental panel on climate change stated that “It is very likely that the average rates of increase in CO2 … have been at least five times faster over the period from 1960 to 1999 than over any other 40-year period during the past two millennia prior to the industrial era.” In June 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a report on climate global analysis in which it was stated that the period from July of 2014 to June of 2015 had been “the warmest 12-month period in the 136-year period of record …” With the level of anthropogenically-produced and naturally occurring carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere becoming an increasingly important environmental problem, the importance of carbon storage as a viable solution is likewise increasing.
Characterization of carbon flux in an oak-hickory forest, red cedar forest and two grassland communities (one semi-native and the other managed) in the Pea Ridge National Military Park of northwest Arkansas is the focus of this ongoing research effort. The capability of this gaseous inorganic molecule to be sequestered or stored in the biomass or detritus of the various components (e.g., living plants, soil, coarse woody debris and litter) that make up each of the four different vegetation types is being assessed. In addition, this capability will be evaluated in the context of the changes that have occurred in the overall landscape of Pea Ridge National Military Park since the 1940s. Sample collection and analysis are complete for all four sites.
The researcher measured either 10 or 20 mg samples depending on which component of the plant or soil she examined. Samples were loaded into tin boats and placed in an Elementar vario El cube (Elementar Americas, Inc., Philadelphia, PA) for analysis of total C and N by high temperature combustion. Results of the C and N concentrations can then be expressed as mg/kg on a dry weight basis.
References: https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/ en/ch6s6-es.html (accessed 10-1-2015)
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201506 (accessed 10-1-2015)
Jenkins, J. C., et al. National-Scale Biomass Estimators for United States Tree Species, Forest Science, 49(1), Feb 2003, 12-35.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study is funded in part by the Slime Mold Project.
Faculty Advisor: Steven Lee Stephenson, email@example.com